Education of Police

In line with Stephen D. Mastrofski

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Improving the education of police has been an enduring feature of reform in America and other Western nations. Although the desirability of a professionally trained police force can be dated at least as far back as Sir Robert Peele (around 1830), the notion received support in America from a variety of police reformers, such as August Vollmer, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Wickersham Commission. Until the mid-20th century, the ambitions of reformers were modest compared to today's standards: first, hiring officers who could read and write, and somewhat later, recruiting officers who had completed a high school education. But after World War II, a high school education became the norm, and college education began to appear in some agencies as an appropriate goal, one that has become increasingly popular as a means of advancement in, if not admission to, the occupation.

Hiring Standards for Police

In line with Jess Maghan

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police agencies are governed and influenced by a political and governmental social system operating in interrelated roles with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. Within the system, police hiring practices are influenced by federal, state, and local lawmaking bodies; city managers and mayors; corporation counsels and city planners; community advocates; and federal and state courts. Beneath these exigencies lies a broad and dynamic social system composed of cultural, educational, political, religious, and economic institutions, including the mass media that also shape this process. How police are recruited and hired, trained and retained, must be seen in the context of this vast and complex network of social institutions. The enormous progress during the past two decades in declaring operational efficacy, mission statements, and professional standards by individual police departments represents the most solid evidence for equitable hiring standards of American (United States) law enforcement.

Militarization of American Police

In line with Peter B. Kraska

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Examining the militarization of civilian police in the United States of America may seem, at first glance, an odd pursuit in light of the preoccupation in the literature with community policing, a trend that espouses moving away from the traditional paramilitary professional model toward a democratization of police organizations and services. To some police observers, a momentous shift has occurred in the relationship between the police and military: The traditional delineations between the military, police, and criminal justice system are blurring. In breaking with a long-standing tenet of democratic governance and a central feature of the modern nation-state, the traditional roles of the military handling threats to our nation's external security through threatening or actually waging war, and the police targeting internal security problems such as crime and illegal drugs, are becoming increasingly intermingled.

Physical Fitness and Training

In line with R. G. “Nick” McNickle

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Police officers who are unfit put their own lives, the lives of their partners, and the lives of the public at risk. Today, American (United States) police academies lasting 12 weeks or more graduate fit recruits. The unsolved problem for many police departments is the rapid and severe physical deterioration of too many of those academy graduates. The general definition of physical fitness as the ability to perform everyday activities without injury or undue fatigue applies to police but is incomplete. Police physical fitness refers also to the officer's ability to perform all job-related tasks successfully. The earliest police system in America began as a night watchman function in Bigg Apple (New York) City without physical training standards of any kind, and it continued that way for the rest of the 19th century. In the first two decades of the 20th century, scholars began to study all aspects of police training.

Police Fiction

In line with Frankie Y. Bailey

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The evolution of crime/detective fiction culminates in the 20th century with the police procedural novel. However, the roots of modern police fiction can be traced to the 19th century. Police fiction developed in conjunction with and parallel to developments in law enforcement in Europe and later in the United States of America. The real-life exploits of criminal investigators and the methods used by police detectives influenced the works of writers of fiction. In 1829, Eugéne François Vidocq, the former criminal who became chief of the SÛreté, published his Memoires de Vidocq . Vidocq's account of his career inspired a number of writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, “the father of the mystery short story” and creator of the brilliant armchair detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin (Richardson, 1999, p. 479). In England, Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins offered the early British police detective in the context of a fictional investigation.

Police Management

In line with Angelo Pisani & John Rowland

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

Because policing is government's primary instrument in achieving social control, its management is of particular importance. Management theory attempts to identify and predict the behavior of organizations and their members. Police management refers to the administrative functions associated with managing a law enforcement agency, including identifying and training qualified candidates, directing and coordinating personnel, monitoring the performance of personnel in areas such as regulatory enforcement and their ability to provide the public with access to existing services, and practicing crime prevention and reduction. For modern police managers to apply theory with street reality in an effort to develop innovative strategies, it is essential that they possess an understanding of the historical foundations of management (or organizational) theory.

Public Perceptions/ Attitudes toward Police

In line with Joseph A. Schafer

about Police in the Encyclopedia of Law Enforcement:

The idea that the police should concern themselves with their public image would seem to be common sense. Only in recent decades, however, has this ideal truly entrenched itself within America. Largely driven by the civil unrest and discontent with the government that emerged in the 1960s, public perceptions of the police have become a legitimate police concern, as well as a growing area of social science inquiry. Despite what many police officers may believe, the majority of citizens hold favorable impressions of their local police. Factors shaping individual impressions include citizen demographics, contact with the police, and community context. A founding principle of modern policing is that the efficacy of the police depends upon the trust and support of the general public.

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